tv [untitled] July 24, 2012 6:00am-6:30am PDT
>> the things commission. the meeting is called to order. we'll start by taking the role. >> commissioner studley. >> consumer hayon. >> commissioner renne. commissioner liu is excused today. the first item on the agenda is public comment on matters appearing or not appearing on the aendda that are within the jurisdiction of the things commission. >> thank you very much, commissioners. and, of course, the public library don't give money to the friends of the library nor accept it. it has been since march 26 that this things commission has had a regular meeting, nearly four months, virtually a third of the year. it is like leaving the city unguarded this is a disgrace, especially in view of the grand jury report. i distribute to you through your staff a flier reminding
you that july 13 was the one-year anniversary the letter to mayor lee that the president of the library commission proving that ethics is meaningless for the public/private membership. mr. ray hart was before you attempting to play her statements posted on the library website. let me give it a try. if you're watching at home, you may want to hit the mute button. [inaudible] >> what you have to understand is this was before misgomez
against mr. hart full of lies as retaliation of statements made in public comment that were under the scope of protected free speech. the context is that the public private partnership brings in $5 million a year without any fiscal or ethical. the attacks on citizens to protect against democracy, these grifters will break every rule, tell every lie, tell citizens they are nonsense, that they need to get a life and all kinds of vile stuff i hope you can barely imagine. since your last meeting, mr. st. croix was quoted in the "san francisco chronicle" at saying, "the ethics commission's biggest critics are believers in gotcha government. this is the criminal's mantra. do you have any idea of the social damage that is caused when police are followed with
the abuse and corruption that are faced in our society and they say they're against accountability. the effect is devastating. mr. st. kroy's ethics apparently is just another opportunity to network with the criminals. well, the reason why we have an ethics commission is because the supervisors and other public officials just treated, a chance to network with the criminals and we needed an outside independent group. in fact, why should they fire ms. gomez if you can't fire mr. st. croix. >> members of the ethics commission, ray hart, director of san francisco open government. know your rights under sunshine ordinance as printed on every agenda for city board meetings and commissions. you can submit a 150-word summary which is supposed to be included in the minutes.
i have four orders of determination in cases number 10054, the overhead, against the library commission. a referral for enforcement, a denial by the ethics commission without hearing, and a letter to the city attorney telling him to quit advising people contrary what the sunshine task force said. case number 11054 against the city librarian where he was found in violation, a referral to the district attorney on the matter, a referral to the city attorney on the matter, and a referral to the ethics committee on the matter. case number 10 -- 11088 finding this commission in violation of the city ordinance and a memo from the task force telling all city departments that the law clearly says in the minutes and
it's in the minutes. and then finally, 110071 finding the city attorney's office in violation because basically what city attorney herrera has done is said you can keep people's protected political free speech out of the official record and make it an attachment and put where somebody can't see it and the only reason we're going to say that is because although the law says in the minutes and the task force at least four times has said in the minutes means in the minutes, the city attorney says, oh, outside the minutes is just the same thing. if it was the same thing, he wouldn't be fighting that hard to keep it. so with all of these cases, with all of these referrals, with all of the time passed, what do i have? the ethics commission continues it's almost uninterrupted failure to enforce in any way findings of official misconduct. this commission heard one case
against jewel gomez which was referenced by a prior speaker and sent a recommendation to mayor ed lee that she be removed. the mayor has taken no action on this referral. i guess the mayor will only follow whatever your recommendation is in the case against the sheriff if it suits his political purpose. i don't think he puts you in a very good position because bottom line, if you come out to remove the sheriff, everybody is going to say because your political appointees and that's what you were told to do. very frankly, that's what it looks like to me. you got all these people that found official misconduct referred to the district attorney, the city attorney, nothing happens. you find them in violation, nothing happens. what if you find the sheriff in violation of something will happen for the first time in more than a decade. >> i'm alec bruce and i have
appeared before you before, most recently in april at the joint meeting with the task force members regarding the proposed regulations. i do want to point out something to you that you're probably not aware of. during the period of about august 2011 until i think just before your meeting in april, five or six referrals from the task force were dismissed allegedly by the commission because the respondents were neither an elected official nor department head and the dismissal letters from mr. st. croix said you only handled those cases. the whole purpose of that april meeting was to straighten out what had been originally
decided in june 2010 which was you did have jurisdiction over the task force referrals under 6730 c. so now we're back to where we were, except that there are six cases that were dismissed improperly and should be reviewed on the basis that you did have jurisdiction to hear them, whether the respondent was an elected official or a department head. i think it's only fair to the complainants and i think it's in keeping with your responsibilities to make sure that everything is done according to the book. thank you. >> hello, commissioners. my name is larry bush. i was at the rule committee hearing in june where there was discussion about proposals from the ethics commission put
forward by superviser weiner. before that meeting took place. supervisors campos had asked harvey rose to do an analysis on how san francisco compared on policies dealing with ethics and transparency and how they did on enforcement. i didn't see anything in the minutes or the notes from the executive director telling you all about that harvey rose report, but it's an important one. i brought copies for all of the commissioners. it does a very good job of outlining places where san francisco is somewhat better than los angeles and places where san francisco might want to consider adopting policies that are in los angeles. some of those policies are directly related to issues that you'll be dealing with later on on 1.126. the other point that they made was that they would like to see the commission take a stronger outreach to the interested persons meeting so that more people have an opportunity to participate in the discussions
and the chair of the committee, jane kim specifically said that she would like the commission not wait any longer on providing information to the public in languages other than english and there is examples of that from the los angeles commission about how they do that. thank you very much. >> hello, commissioners, my name is michael, and i'm a person with age and a little bit of history. i am alive in part because of freedom of information act requests filed in the 1980's before we even had the drug a.z.t.. filed to find out about clinical trials on experimental drugs at the national institutes of health. once we had the information, we were then able to look for the similar drugs for sale either
in europe or down in mexico. i mention this because for me, sunshine, open government, access to public records, and enforcement of the laws for those public foyers is a life and death matter in some situations. having said that, i would like to address the terrible undermining of the sunshine ordinance task force by supervisor scott weiner in the past couple of months. he has removed extremely qualified people from the task force and, unfortunately, he has replaced them with certain members who admit in public that they are unqualified to be sitting on that panel. after supervisor weiner installed todd david, the first
task force meeting happened and i was at that meeting and asked todd david and was captured on camera and it's on youtube, what are your qualifications? and he said over and over again, michael, i'm not qualified. that horrifies me that we have a member on the task force right now who said in front of witnesses at the task force and on camera, i am not qualified. that appointment is really dangerous to sunshine and good government here in san francisco. i really believe that we need this commission, the ethics commission serving as a watch dog. and right now, i don't think that's the case. to be blunt, i look at the ethics commission as a lap dog
commission. and that is not healthy for san francisco's democracy. please, my take-home message for you today is develop strong watch dog principals. carry them out. start enforcing the power and the decisions that are coming here from the task force when we're not getting documents or being able to -- not adhering to the law. i have a statement for the record and one copy for the chair. thank you. >> good evening, commissioners. oliver luby here. regarding a package of campaign finance reform amendments proposed by your staff and passed in november, the report
does not fully describe the rejection that the amendment package effectively received of the june 7 meeting of the board of supervisors rules committee. the report summarizes the outcome in rules by asking they were engaged in another public process regarding the amendments and that the frequency of disclosure should not be reduced. it did not mention was the strong public outcry about the amendments. not only did the amendments decrease both finance disclosure and campaign communication disclaimers, but they also created a loophole for the return of the notorious election earring issue of communications, and had drafting errors. the amendments would have made requirements parallel to state law. in fact, the proposed amendment for filing actually conflicted with the minimum requirements of state law. it would have exempted contributions between general purpose committees from triggering preelection disclosure contrary to state
law. this is the second time that the supervisors have rejected the proposal by your staff to roll back a 2006 reform which provides a simple broad election threshold for general purpose committees and referred to section 3.135. moreover, the record failed to note that legislative and budget analysts report referenced earlier today provided -- which provided a detailed report to the supervisors contrasting san francisco and los angeles campaign finance and ethics laws including identifying certain reforms that are used in l.a. but absent here. for example, on your agenda for today are regulations for the contract or contribution ban which prohibits contractors from donating to office holders approving contracts as you know including six months after contracts are approved. in l.a., the prohibition is 12 months after contract approval and fundraising by contractors on behalf of the office holder is also prohibited as noted in
the report by the budget analyst. further more, i would like to point out that l.a. law prohibits officials from receiving contributions from persons who have had a legislative or administrative matter before the official during the preceding 12 months. san francisco's contractor contribution ban should be expanded in san francisco to include recipients of development permits and other major economic benefits if approved by elected officials. i would encourage each of you to watch the video, the rule 7 of the june 7 rules committee. thank you. >> good afternoon, commissioners, charles marseller for the record. i did want to tell you i did also attend that hearing at the rules committee and i found it to be very thorough, so i would recommend you look at the tape.
there is a need, i think, to get a city attorney opinion on what it clearly requires you to do when amending voter past initiatives. you not only need the supermajority as you know, everybody knows that, but you also need to know that the bill or the amendment before you furthers the purposes of the act. that's expressively -- explicitly stated in the law and it was our intention when we drafted that, mr. stern and myself, when we came up with that language to require those two thresholds. so i wanted to say that's something we haven't really gone into in any great detail, and i would be happy to discuss it further, but it's not possible for the commission or the board to adopt several of the amendments before you in my view as they are in violation of these requirements and
therefore would be illegal. that came up at the hearing before rules and rules did in fact discuss that at length. so i think the rules committee would like to have a city attorney's opinion. if you don't ask for it, they will at some point. in fact, i would imagine that they will amend the law, the next passthrough to require this. that is the simple remedy, the simple remedy is to basically say that there should be the issuance of findings concurrent with the adoption of any amendment and i think that the city attorney would concur in that opinion. so you would probably be well advised to set up a mechanism where or a provision in the code or in your regs to require promulgation of regs concurrent with the amendments that come forward to make sure that you're in conformance with this law.
this is a very special law because it's one of two occasions you have the right to amend voter past initiative. i doubt if you'll have that opportunity to do that further. so i did want to say that i hope that you'll take consideration of this recommendation on findings and that, in fact, you may want to calendar it or put it on your agenda for discussion. i would be happy to come back at that time. i hope everybody as well and i welcome the new commissioners since i have been here to the commission. >> the next item on the agenda is consideration of amendments to cfro. mr. st. croix, would you like to introduce this matter. >> cfro? >> yes.
>> these are amendments to section 1.112. there is a staff memo that i would be happy to answer any questions. >> can you introduce yourself for the record and can you introduce the issue and summarize it. >> steven massey, i'm the information technology officer. under state law, local committees are required to file campaign finance statements with the ethics commission and they're required to use state paper forms. committees are required to file two paper copies of every statement and then state law requires state committees to file with the secretary of state to file electronic copies of the statements in addition to paper forms, but state law does not require electronic copies of statements for local committees. cfro section 1.112 requires local committees to file copies of statements with the ethics commission in electronic format.
the result of this is that there are three copies of every statement that are filed with the commission. there are two paper copies and one electronic copy. so staff has been working for a couple years to consolidate these requirements and the result of this was legislation at the state level that is carried by tom ammiano a.b. 2452 and that bill passed. it allows local agencies to eliminate the paper filing requirement and require electronic filing as the official document of record. >> thank you, mr. massey. >> i thought we were on the other memo. this is something we have been working on for a very long time and i think it's going to save a lot of resources and make life easier for the regulating community and it reduces a lot of paperwork for the staff and
i think the public uses the information will still have quick assess to all of the information they need and deserve. i just wanted to thank steven for really a lot of work. we spent several days in sacramento working on this and so i just wanted to point out that he did great work. he deserves the thanks of the commission and so does member ammiano as well. >> on behalf of the commission, thank you, mr. massey, for your efforts. any comments, questions from the commissioners? ms. studley? commissioner studley: i know that we have been working for quite a while on this and i begin with, i focus on the advantages for the public. what i found most compelling in
the executive director's report were the way it allows public users of the system to get integrated information and not chopped-up information if for example, a committee goes from a small filer to one that is required to file electronically that they now would end up with all of the materials together and a variety of other ways in which it seemed like it would be positive for the public. that to me relates to the requirement that the amendment further the purposes of cfro which as we have just been reminded and i do mean reminded, not instructed for the first time, that that is the principal question that we have to ask. that leaves me in support of all the pieces. there is one thing that, i think that my question was, i asked a question, had a question as i was reading and then i believe it was answered,
but i would just like to make sure that i understood it correctly. i was wondering as i got to section 2b, my question was, can we give filers who are not required to provide the information under $1,000 filer fee option to file just electronically? did i understand the last point to be saying that they do have that option, or did i not connect the dots properly? >> we added section 1.112 c to allow for voluntary electronic filing. if they comply with that, then they would not need to file paper copies. >> as i was reading along, i was hoping that we did that, and i was pleased to see that. so thank you for confirming that. thank you. that's all. >> i appreciate the efforts that the staff has made to get
this in place. i think it is going to be a huge benefit to the public. i have one question about decision point one. so are these proposed findings in section one all new from line 10 through page 2, line 19? >> yes, they all have been added. >> ok, so i'm looking at -- i just want to make sure we're looking at the same document. it looked like additions were supposed to be in underlined i talics. >> that's fine. when we draft ordinances with findings that are not intended to be ordinances that are not intended to be codified, under the board formatting rules, those are in the arial
font, said that will not be codified. it would just be in the ordinance, and it will not appear. commissioner renne: no. 5, it seemed odd for us to approve that statement. i do not know if that is just a function of how things happen or whether we can delete that. it just felt odd for us to approve what the board thinks. >> actually, that statement is the most important statement, because under the state legislation, the agency would be required to pass an ordinance with that statement. commissioner renne: but i thought you just said it was not codified. >> this is in order to adopt this. this does not have to be in the
code. the city has to make the finding in order to go to this electronic filing system. i wonder if one suggestion would be changing that finding to be the board of supervisors and the ethics commission finds that, etc., and the next one would read the board of supervisors and the ethics commission. chair hur: i think that would be preferable. any views to the contrary? commissioner studley? vice president studley: no. i have a different point as long as we are looking at the findings, so if he wanted to conclude your point -- chair hur: that was the conclusion of my point. vice president studley: going
back to a moment ago, this focuses on the staff burden of the current system, and in both number two and number four, and for me, this starting point is that the information is available more quickly and in a more usable format. it is there. it is and number four, .consistent with the comment i made a moment ago about the requirements of, at advancing the purposes, my suggestion may be as simple as changing number four to flip the two substantive elements of that sentence, to make the information publicly available in a shorter time frame and a more usable format and to conserve staff resources. i believe that is how it belongs.
the commissioner -- is there any reason that would be -- >> i do not see that is a problem. chair hur: any problem with that? >> i think that is an excellent suggestion. chair hur: any other comments from the commissioners with respect to this item? let's open it up for public comments.>> i had a comment or n about the paper filings as opposed to the e-filing. i am a treasure of a small club, and we put out a filing every year,